Penn State operating again Ricky Slade has entered the NCAA’s switch portal, in accordance with a number of experiences.
The previous five-star recruit from Virginia recommended earlier than the Lions’ 53-39 win over Memphis within the Cotton Bowl that he deliberate to stick with the staff shifting ahead, and but he’s now searching for a brand new dwelling after finishing his sophomore season.
Slade seemed to be the odd man out in a deep operating again rotation heading into the 2020 season, simply as he was final fall. He carried 47 occasions for 214 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. Comparatively, Journey Brown led the Lions with 129 carries whereas Noah Cain had 84 and Devyn Ford 52. All three of these backs are again, and two true freshmen, Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee, might be in camp with the staff this summer time.
A Woodbridge, Va., native, Slade may have a look at Virginia Tech or James Madison as potential touchdown spots. Previous Dominion, the place former offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne is now the top coach, may probably be an choice as nicely.
Penn State has now misplaced 5 gamers to the switch portal, as receiver Justin Shorter entered it earlier than the Rutgers recreation again in November whereas reserve lineman Hunter Kelly and defensive finish Daniel Joseph did in February and nook DJ Brown joined them on Monday.
Shortly after Penn State’s Cotton Bowl win, the Lions reduce ties with Matt Limegrover, who had been offensive line coach from 2016 by 2019. Enter Phil Trautwein, a Florida grad who coached the offensive line at Boston Faculty final season.
“Clearly we’re very appreciative of the time that we had, and coach (Limegrover) did an amazing job,” Franklin mentioned. “Coach did an amazing job. His household is superior, all these forms of issues. However I felt like a change was wanted, for quite a lot of causes that I don’t know if are essentially acceptable on this setting.
“However Trautwein was on the checklist of men that I used to be monitoring,” Franklin continued. “There’s people who I do know very nicely on this enterprise that assume very extremely of him.”
Penn State’s coach added: “I feel (Trautwein) has a narrative. I feel he’s received a narrative that’s enticing to our present gamers and in addition to recruits when it comes to, (he) was not a extremely recruited man, goes to Florida, wins two nationwide championships, begins for a number of years at left sort out, doesn’t get drafted, finds a approach to play within the NFL for 5 years, will get into teaching, trains underneath a tree, an O-line tree that I respect, and has had success.
“And then you definitely couple all that with the people who I do know and belief, after which watching movie after which finding out the information, it simply all sort of made sense and aligned. Thus far, so good.”
Hassle spot at vast receiver
Franklin is conscious that wideout is a possible weak spot for PSU coming into spring drills, and he is aware of what’s missing.
The Lions will want some wideouts to step up in 2020 after dynamic KJ Hamler left faculty early and declared for the draft. Promising Justin Shorter is now a Florida Gator after bailing on PSU through the switch portal. Discovering extra from the Lions’ passing recreation might be considered one of new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca’s high duties.
“We’ve received to be extra constant,” Franklin mentioned. “That’s in throwing the ball, in accuracy. We’ve received to have the ability to make the protection defend your complete subject.
“One of many issues when you look again with Hint (McSorley), we did an amazing job of attacking that wide-field comeback so much, taking that entry, which most defenses are going to present you a tender nook to the sphere and attempt to take the shorter throws away. I assumed we did a very good job over the past variety of years of attacking with our slots.
“I feel we’ve achieved a very good job with our tight ends,” Franklin continued. “We’ve received to do a greater job getting the ball to our outdoors receivers, and that’s accuracy, that’s aggressiveness, that’s constantly catching the ball, that’s constantly creating separation. It’s not one factor, it’s just a little little bit of all of it, however we want extra manufacturing, there’s little doubt about it.”
Not an enormous shock, however Franklin acknowledged it was robust saying goodbye to longtime assistant Sean Spencer.
Spencer, Penn State’s defensive position coach, can also be a high recruiter. He spent the final six years with Franklin in State Faculty and three with Franklin at Vanderbilt. Spencer’s success at PSU produced a possibility to teach the New York Giants’ defensive position. And Spencer accepted the NFL invite.
“As you guys know, Sean was sort of one of many few guys left that’s been with me from the start, so for me and (defensive coordinator) Brent (Pry), you’re speaking about sort of our street canine for 10 years,” Franklin mentioned.
“We’ve been collectively for a very long time. Sean was nice, very up entrance about the entire state of affairs, and clearly, being from the area and his spouse being from New York, it simply made sense.”